AWARD WINNERS: Ten apprentices from GSK were recognised during a ceremony at The Witham
AWARD WINNERS: Ten apprentices from GSK were recognised during a ceremony at The Witham

GRADUATING apprentices from GSK were recognised during an awards ceremony at The Witham in Barnard Castle.

The awards were presented by site director Alastair Leighton and EHS Director and early talent sponsor Russell Collins.

The ceremony recognised the achievements of those apprentices who are finishing their schemes this year, all of whom have been successful in gaining permanent positions within GSK.

The apprentices come from a range of disciplines including manufacturing, engineering, supply chain, packaging technology and the packed artwork shared services, and have completed schemes that have lasted between three to four years, depending on the subject area.

While they have already attended a national week long graduation event held in London with other UK apprentices, this smaller ceremony at The Witham allowed the apprentices’ families and managers to attend, as well as GSK Barnard Castle directors, early talent steering committee members and the site apprentice lead, Helen Smith, who arranged the event.

The ceremony was also attended by Joanne Rout membership director from NEPIC (North East Process Industries Cluster) who spoke to the apprentices and their families about her own career path and encouraged the trainees to continue their development at work.

The audience also heard that the whole apprentice group had made significant contributions during theirtraining, and had won over their colleagues and line managers in the process.

Sam Turner

Chris Wood, a manufacturing apprentice, won the Apprentice of the Year category following a glowing report from his team in steriles manufacture, and for the contribution he has made to promoting STEM careers and early talent.

Some of the new apprentices, who will start at GSK Barnard Castle in September, also attended the ceremony, giving them the opportunity to meet the current group and pe other staff.

Ms Smith said: “It’s important to give these apprentices the recognition they deserve.

“During their apprenticeship they are combining real work on the site, with some very challenging qualifications. This often involves working evenings and weekends and revising for exams. GSK sets really high expectations and the apprentices are setting the bar with their college and uni results, and by impressing their peers and managers at work with their knowledge and abilities. It’s also good to share this in front of some parents, managers and the site directors.

Ms Rout said: ”Today I met an group of impressive young people who have recently completed their GSK apprenticeships. As an alternative to full-time study, the apprentices are employed by GSK and work alongside experienced team members to develop the important skills necessary for their chosen careers. GSK are benefiting by growing their own talent in a range of job disciplines and the apprentices have bright futures ahead of them in the company.”

The GSK early talent team are also celebrating GSK’s recent award as best North East Apprenticeship Employer via the Rate My Apprenticeship Awards. This is awarded based on the ratings provided by the apprentices themselves in a number of categories making its achievement all the more significant.

GSK Barnard Castle will be holding an apprenticeships open day at the GSK Social Club on Wednesday, October 17.